Bureaucracy in Medieval Scandinavia

Project: Research

Project Details


The dream of bureaucracy is a life made easy by regulation and efficiency. Yet we find ourselves surrounded by glitchy online portals, an exhausting mass of usernames and passwords, and electorates that seethe with anti-bureaucratic resentment (“Drain the Washington Swamp” or “blasted Brussels Eurocrats”). Some ideologues have suggested we turn to medieval Scandinavia for a model of a bureaucracy-free society. But history shows that when Scandinavian kingdoms had weak states, there was still plenty of bureaucracy generated by the private sphere. Indeed, medieval Scandinavians were as seduced yet aggravated by bureaucracy as us (albeit in different ways). My project exposes this neglected history, and its implications for the theory and praxis of administration today.
Effective start/end date21/01/201918/01/2021


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.